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Pope Francis: ‘Family Synod is not a parliament’

Pope Francis meets with young refugees from Syria and Iraq during his trip to Turkey (CNS)

Pope Francis has said that the Synod on the Family is not a parliament but a “protected ecclesial space” where “the Holy Spirit may speak”.

According to Catholic News Agency, the Pope told reporters on the plane home from Turkey, “The synod is a path, it is a journey, firstly. Secondly the synod is not a parliament. It’s a protected space in which the Holy Spirit may speak.”

Pope Francis also stressed that the final report of the Synod was “lineamenta”, or a starting point, for next year’s synod and is currently being discussed by the episcopal conferences so it can be amended and another ‘instrumentum laboris’ (official Vatican document) drafted.

Pope Francis said: “It’s a path. For this reason, you can’t take (the) opinion of one person or draft. The synod has to be seen in its totality.

“Also, I don’t agree – and this is a personal opinion which I don’t want to impose – but I don’t agree with saying that ‘Today, this Father said this,’ or ‘Today, this Father said this…if someone wants to say something, let them say what was said but not who said it. Why? Because, I repeat, the synod is not a parliament, it’s a protected ecclesial space.”

The Pope added that this protections exists “so (that) the Holy Spirit can work. And this is my response.”

The Pope’s press conference lasted 46 minutes and took place on his journey home from a three day trip to Turkey during which he met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, and young refugees from Syria and Iraq (Images by CNS)